Prisoner Climbs 30ft Mast
DRAMA UNFOLDED at the Kumasi Central Prisons on Monday when a male inmate defied tight security detachment and climbed on top of an internet mast erected at the prisons to provide internet access to the inmates of the prisons. The inmate, whose nickname was gathered as ‘20 20’, caused the stir at the prison yard which is located at Adum, Kumasi, in the Ashanti region, at about 9:30 am when prison warders were expected to be on high alert at the yard. Having been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in hard labor five years ago, ‘20 20’ was said to be angry at an attempt by officers of the prisons to transfer him to the Nsawam Prisons to continue his sentence. According to sources, the convict was upset because having spent five years in prison at the yard, he had assumed a leadership position at his current ‘base’ and he would lose that if he was transferred. To demonstrate his displeasure about the transfer move, ‘20 20’ decided to climb to the top of the internet mast which is situated on a concrete block at the center of the prisons. Before the prison officers were made aware of what was happening, the convict, who was bare-chested with a pair of khaki shorts, had sought ‘refuge’ at the top of the internet mast which was built to provide internet access to the inmates as part of the prisons learning initiatives. The convict’s action amazed the prisons officers and shocked passers-by as they stood outside of the prisons to catch a glimpse of him. Within minutes that the news of the convict’s action was announced on air, residents from various suburbs of the metropolis thronged the central prisons to have a look at him. Traffic control at the prisons, which is very close to the Ashanti regional police command, became hectic as the crowd grew bigger by the minute. While sitting on top of the mast, the inmate stressed that he would only come down if officers of the yard assured him that his transfer would be cancelled to enable him to enjoy his leadership position at the yard. He went ahead to indicate that aside that, he would want the police to climb the mast and meet him at the top to take his statement and also assure him before he would come down. He however voluntarily obliged and descended to the ground floor when officers of the Ghana National Fire (GNFS) Service and Bureau of National Investigations stormed the prisons yard. The officers of the GNFS came there to help rescue the inmate so the prison officers could dialogue with the convict. Immediately the inmate got to the ground, the prison officers whisked him away to the office of the regional prisons commander, Deputy Director of Prisons Ackom Gyedu-Kwame, for a closed-door meeting. The development had a negative effect on friends, relatives and sympathizers whose relations are serving various prison terms as they were denied the opportunity to visit their loved ones. No official reason was given for the denial but it was believed that the action embarked on by the convict had caused an immeasurable embarrassment to the officers who did not want to take any chances. Journalists from both print and electronic media who were at the scene were disappointed as prison officers denied them entry to the yard to either speak with the authorities or the inmate at the center of controversy. Having waited for close to three hours for an official response from the authorities, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the yard, Chief Officer Stephen Nti, shocked the journalists when he stated that the regional commander had ordered him not to speak to the press on the matter. Meanwhile, the public has raised concern about security arrangements at the prisons, contending that if an inmate could climb on top of a mast at the center of the yard in broad day light, then jail break could become a common phenomenon at the yard if effective measures were not put in place.
Source: Daily Guide